My small group has been studying the book of Romans. The guy leading our group is so knowledgeable and usually I have differences with some beliefs that others have, especially when it is in a group setting like that. The only disagreements I have had we due to my lack of knowledge in the word.
The first few chapters did not really do much for me until we got to 4, then I started to really get into it. Then tonight we went through 5 and I was like completely locked into it. I mean before this small group I had never really looked to deep into scripture other then reading it just to get the basics of what is being said. Chapter 5 started off talking about how through suffering we grow in several ways, which in my life has been so true. I have been through a lot in life that I would call suffering and by no means do I believe I have suffered in comparison to Christ, just that I have suffered through the consequences of my actions. The things that I have been through that have brought on growth not only in my personal life but my spiritual life I would not trade for anything. I am a firm believer that through suffering one’s character and out look toward the future will become more positive. That first half of the chapter was more reassuring to me of what I already knew. The second half threw me for a loop.
I mean I always believed that through Adam we were all condemned to a life of suffering because sin entered the world through him. Then the law and then Christ came as the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be justified through his righteousness. Basically I believed that all were justified, when I say all I mean everybody. If you read chapter 5 verse 18 you would think the same. Verse 19 states that through the obedience of the one man (Christ) that many will be made righteous. Which means not everybody will be made righteous. Back in the first verse it says “we have been justified through faith,” “we have peace with God,” then in verse 2 “to whom we have gained access through faith in which we now stand.” All this talk about “we,” which I never even paid any attention to, is specific to us as believers. We are the ones who were given the gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ. What now makes since to me is that Christ died on the cross to provide justification that we would be set free from sin and live eternally through Jesus Christ. Again by “we”, I mean us as believers. What this means is that Christ did not die for everyone’s sins because if he died to justify everyone then why would we need to even believe in the first place? This further confirms my beliefs in predestination because if it is not all God’s plan then how is there any relevance to the cross at all? I am more humbled right now then I have ever been in my life because I realize that I was chosen before I was even born to be a believer. What makes me special? Why should I be saved when I know there are people out there that deserve His grace more then I do because of their acts. That’s just it though; we are not saved through our acts but through our faith. I mean it hurts me to know that it is part of God’s plan that some might not come to believe but we are all part of His plan. Like I gathered earlier, if we were all justified and saved through the cross then there would be no heaven and hell, no reason to believe or not to believe. The purpose is clear to me now. I can not wait to get into the rest of Romans. I try to read it on my own but I do not have a good enough understanding yet to realize what is being said.
I really just felt like sharing this because I have not been able to stop thinking about it all night. I could not even concentrate on the movie we were watching earlier because I was just in awe of the grace that has been pored out to me.
I hope everyone had an awesome day, if you made it through my rambling then go get yourself a glass of water and take a nap.